13 Facts About Lil Bub

Lil Bub visiting the Museum of the Moving Image in 2016
Lil Bub visiting the Museum of the Moving Image in 2016
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Lil Bub, the internet's cutest cat, is gone. According to a post by her owner, Mike Bridavsky, Lil Bub died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, December 1, while battling an aggressive bone infection. Since her birth in June 2011—and particularly after capturing the internet's heart in 2012—she has raised more than $300,000 for animals in need, among other accomplishments.

In 2013, Mental Floss went to Social Tees Animal Rescue for an interview with the feline star and her owner, held in honor of the documentary Lil Bub & Friendz, which was playing at the Tribeca Film Festival that year. Here’s what we learned about the feral cat-turned-internet sensation.

1. Lil Bub's owner said she might have been an alien.

The official story is that Bub was discovered in a rural Indiana tool shed in June 2011, the runt of a litter of feral cats. But Bub didn't look like any of her siblings, Bridavsky told us at the time, "which leads us to believe that she may actually be an alien creature that crashed to Earth, and found this litter of Earth kittens and just joined them to fit in."

2. When she was born, Lil Bub couldn't nurse.

Lil Bub outside Social Tees Animal Rescue
Lil Bub outside Social Tees Animal Rescue
Erin McCarthy

Because of the shape of her mouth, Bub couldn't nurse, so she was bottle-fed until she could eat on her own.

3. When he first saw her, Lil Bub's vet said she was the weirdest cat he had ever seen.

At the time, Bub was 8 weeks old and weighed just 6 ounces, about the size of a Hacky Sack. "He was concerned that with so many birth defects she may not live very long, maybe only a few months," Bridavsky said. "But after doing some tests it turned out she was in good shape!" She and Bridavsky lived a pretty normal life until one of her photos went viral in 2012.

4. A day in Lil Bub's life was pretty regimented.

Lil Bub and owner on her green blanket
Lil Bub and owner Mike Bridavsky on her green blanket
Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

As of 2013, Lil Bub slept in bed with Bridavsky on her green blanket (which she also traveled with). After waking, they'd take a trip outside so Bub could go to the bathroom. Then Bridavsky mixed Bub's food and medicine, which she ate while he was in the shower. After the shower, he often had to rearrange her food because she liked to smush it. "She’s a lot of work," Bridavsky said, "but I love doing it. It’s great. We have a good relationship."

While Bridavsky prepared the daily Bub blog post, she napped in his lap. Later, they might have shot some photos for the blog or gone outside and hang out.

5. Bub had an extra toe on each foot.

Lil Bub had a total of 22 toes. (Most cats have 18.)

6. After becoming an internet sensation, Bub traveled more than 10,000 miles.

Lil Bub in her owner's arms
Lil Bub in Bridavsky's arms
Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

Lil Bub visited places like New York City, Minneapolis, and Portland. She traveled on the plane with Bridavsky and hung out in her carrier at his feet. "She usually sleeps through the flight," Bridavsky said in 2013. "Airports and everything, she’s totally fine."

7. Bub met many celebrities.

Bub's man celebrity fans included Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone and Robert De Niro, among others. She also appeared on Good Morning America and the Today show.

8. Lil Bub had several medical issues.

Bub had dwarfism, an underdeveloped jaw, and no teeth (that's why her tongue stuck out). She also had osteopetrosis, an exceptionally rare bone disease in cats.

9. Lil Bub loved yogurt.

When Bub wanted to treat herself, she went for one thing: Yogurt. And nothing but Brown Cow yogurt would do.

10. Lil Bub snored. A lot.

For a small cat—she weighed just 3.9 pounds—Bub snored pretty loudly. But it was still adorable.

11. Although she was a cat, Bub preferred dogs.

Here she is meeting Tuna the dog, above.

12. Bub was friends with another internet kitty.

Bub's favorite internet cat/boyfriend was Smoosh, another celebrity feline from Bloomington, Indiana. Smoosh's owner, David, designed much of Bub's merchandise.

13. Most of the proceeds from the sale of Bub's merchandise went to animal shelters in her hometown.

Lil Bub on her green blanket
Lil Bub on her green blanket
Erin McCarthy

The shelters included the Bloomington Animal Shelter, the Monroe County Humane Association, and the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

Lil Bub on her green blanket
Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

Learn Travel Blogging, Novel Writing, Editing, and More With This $30 Creative Writing Course Bundle

Centre of Excellence
Centre of Excellence

It seems like everyone is a writer lately, from personal blog posts to lengthy Instagram captions. How can your unique ideas stand out from the clutter? These highly reviewed courses in writing for travel blogs, novel writing, and even self-publishing are currently discounted and will teach you just that. The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle is offering 10 courses for $29.99, which are broken down into 422 bite-sized lessons to make learning manageable and enjoyable.

Access your inner poet or fiction writer and learn to create compelling works of literature from home. Turn that passion into a business through courses that teach the basics of setting up, hosting, and building a blog. Then, the social media, design, and SEO lessons will help distinguish your blog.

Once you perfect your writing, the next challenge is getting that writing seen. While the bundle includes lessons in social media and SEO, it also includes a self-publishing course to take things into your own hands to see your work in bookshops. You’ll learn to keep creative control and royalties with lessons on the basics of production, printing, proofreading, distribution, and marketing efforts. The course bundle also includes lessons in freelance writing that teach how to make a career working from home.

If you’re more of an artistic writer, the calligraphy course will perfect your classical calligraphy scripts to confidently shape the thick and thin strokes of each letter. While it can definitely be a therapeutic hobby, it’s also a great side-hustle. Create your own designs and make some extra cash selling them as wedding placards or wall art.

Take your time perfecting your craft with lifetime access to the 10 courses included in The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle. At the discounted price of $29.99, you’ll have spent more money on the coffee you’re sipping while you write your next novel than the courses themselves.

 

The Ultimate Creative Writing Course Bundle - $29.99

See Deal

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
Even without raging benders, dogs might still get headaches.
damedeeso/iStock via Getty Images

Like babies, dogs can be hard to read in the medical ailment department. Are they listless because they’re tired, or because they’re sick? What’s behind their whining? And can they suffer that most human of debilitating conditions, the headache?

Gizmodo polled several veterinarians and animal behavior specialists to find out, and the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

Although a dog can’t express discomfort in a specific way, particularly if it doesn’t involve limping, animal experts know that canines that have diagnosed brain tumors or encephalitis can also be observed to have a high heart rate, a sign of physical pain. According to Tim Bentley, an associate professor of veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at Purdue Veterinary Medicine, administering painkillers will bring a dog’s heart rate down. If signs of physical distress also decrease, a headache was likely involved.

Unfortunately, not all dogs may offer overt signals they’re feeling some brain pain. According to Adam Boyko, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, dogs instinctively try to mask pain to avoid showing weakness.

Ultimately, dogs have many of the same central neural pathways as humans, which can likely go awry in some of the same ways. But the kind of persistent headaches owing to head colds or hangovers are probably rare in dogs. And while it goes without saying, they definitely don't need any of your Advil.

[h/t Gizmodo]